Imported Cigar Sales On the Rise: Another Cigar Boom Possible?

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The cigar industry could be on the verge of seeing another Cigar Boom similar to the one in the 1990's. Will another boom be good for the industry? Will it be good for the cigar aficionado?

The cigar industry could be on the verge of seeing another Cigar Boom similar to the one in the 1990's. Will another boom be good for the industry? Will it be good for the cigar aficionado?

Stephen Malan, owner of Humidor Vault, LLC, feels that the premium hand rolled cigar industry just might be making a case for another cigar expansion.

The numbers below show the imports of handmade cigars, in thousands of cigars:*

2003: 257,700

2004: 282,100

Percentage Change in 2003-2004: 9.5%

*Information provided by Cigar Insider, April 12, 2005

Despite all the recent smoking bans and higher taxes, an amazing 9.5 percent increase occurred in 2004. The Cigar Association of America just released figures for the first four months of 2005, and the numbers appear to still be climbing at an unprecedented rate. Compared to 2004, the numbers for 2005 are at almost a 10 percent gain, and will surpass the 300 million mark for the first time since 1998 if the trend continues.

How does this affect the consumer? When the market was hitting over 400 million in hand rolled imports during the year 1997, manufacturers were pressed to meet the demands by hiring inexperienced rollers while also using young and rough tobacco. This led to what consumers felt was a decline in quality, even though the prices remained relatively high.

So, will history repeat itself? "Probably not," reports Malan. The industry has learned quite a bit from the 1990's boom days. Some cigar leaf growers have added to their land holdings for future planting needs, while manufacturers have also upgraded many of their plants.

"Quality is still superb, and pricing is still reasonable. It doesn't look like pricing will get out of hand soon, but you never know," states Malan.

The best strategy for consumers? Buy quality cigars from a reputable dealer and lay them away in your personal humidors. Buying high quality humidors with top-notch humidification systems will keep cigars fresh for an extended period of time. Malan warns, "Don't buy expensive cigars and throw them in a cut-rate humidor. Look at how a humidor closes; it should not clang shut when the lid is dropped from two to three inches. It should land on a cushion of air. If your humidor doesn't do that, it's just a box, and you will ruin your cigars."

"With the cigar industry enjoying a stable increase in sales, there's always the possibility that prices will rise if the industry suddenly catches fire again," states Malan.

Malan's website offers expert tips for cigar consumers. Cigar fans can learn how to properly store, light and smoke a cigar while enjoying maximum satisfaction. They can also browse through some of the finest brands of hand rolled cigars and humidors.

More information can be found at: http://www.humidorvault.com/

For an interview or more information, please contact Stephen Malan by phone at 702-642-2571 or by email at webmaster@humidorvault.com

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Stephen Malan